Why to know Switzerland by train? Because, as you saw in the previous article: Switzerland, the best route by train to discover the country – Part I, this country has some fantastic landscapes and spectacular train routes that traverse the mountains with a panoramic view and towns or cities within a apart beauty.
The region of the high peaks
Travel on the GoldenPass and the Jungfrau train
From the vineyards of Leman lake to the Alpine summits of Interlaken and finely, to the medieval Lucerne, the route of the GoldenPass panoramic train is one of the most interesting and varied the Helvetic country. The route starts in Montreux, the most beautiful city of the Swiss Riviera. This small village, full of mansions and landscaped walks near the lake, has brought over the years celebrities of film and music, as Charles Chaplin and Freddy Mercury. From here the train gets toward the mountainous Oberland Bernese, with stops in traditional populations of Chateau d’Oex and Rougemon. It is worth stopping at the glamorous mountain station of Gstaad, mingle with the walkers and hikers, skiers in winter predominate, and check that fame has not made it lose its charm to this alpine village. Walk past the lake Thun, the train arrives at Interlaken, the gateway to the Jungfrau region, surrounded by lakes and peaks that hosting a network of trails and cableways. Interlaken is also the beginning of the spectacular Jungfrau Railway, which pass between peaks over 4000 m up, to the station Jungfraujoch (3454 m), the highest railway station in Europe.
The more vertical section starts in Lauterbrunnen, a village at the foot of steep slopes from which waterfalls plunge. As it rises, the peaks of the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau take over the landscape up to the Aletsch glacier. Before leaving the Interlaken area, the panoramic GoldenPass change the shore and travel by the north area of Brienz Lake. The combined train and boat ticket is useful in this section, lets you take the ferry across the lake and look closely the Giessbach and Reichenbach waterfalls.
A stretch between lakes
The image of this alpine landscape begins to fade as the convoy facing the ascent to the Brunig Pass (1000 m) and then pass through the soft meadows which bordering the lakes of Lungernsse and Sarnersee. The beautiful Lucerne expected after the descent, with its medieval centre, full of shops and art museums. The combined ticket again is very useful for navigating the Lucerne Lake and contemplate the surrounding peaks.
A legend route
Wilhelm Express combined train and steamboat
The Wilhelm Tell Express train, alternating itineraries by boat on the Lucerne lake, to travel on rails by two of the most beautiful regions of the country: central Switzerland, chaired by Lucerne and Lucerne lake, and Ticino, the more Italian region of Switzerland. A traditional steamboat welcomes passengers starting the route in the port of Lucerne, a city nestled between the lake and the mountains, full of shops and cultural activities. Navigating between landscapes that gave birth to the same William Tell, the boat arrives in less than three hours at Fluelen, where he hopes the panoramic wagon of the Swiss Railways. The train enters the valley of the River Reuss, zigzags along the Gotthard massif, pass through long tunnels and emerges at the sun of Ticino to stop in its capital, Bellinzona, whose three castles are World Heritage. The route continues to Locarno, through bustling and sunny terraces, or continues to the charming Lugano, half alpine and half mediterranean city.
From Geneva to Basel
The Jura train crosses the massif between the two cities.
The mountains of the Jura chain that stretches along the western border with France, give name to the railway line connecting Geneva and Basel, through Neuchatel and the Three Lakes region. By the train window you can see a landscape of pine covered mountains and plateaus in which the horses with sturdy legs are grazing. In Chaux-de-Fonds, Le Locle and Biel, who along with Geneva are recognized as Swiss watchmaking cities, the traveler will have the opportunity to stroll among elegant shops and stores of typical products.
From the Lake Leman the convoy crosses charming villas, as Morges and Yverdon-les-Bains and areas of vineyards up to Neuchatel. Here you have a lot of activities, such as visiting the Vallee de Joux to discover the history and art of watches, or boat trips on the Neuchatel, Biel and Murten lakes interconnected by channels.
Basel at the end of the tour. This historic and cosmopolitan city is a small artistic jewel for its abundance of museums, avant-garde architecture, parks, gardens and walks along the legendary Rhine River.